This afternoon 6JF were introduced to the world of Twitter. It was unplanned but, as is often the case with spontaneous activities, was successful.
As I was half expecting a call from my boys’ school asking me to pick one of them up (everyone is being really careful with this bug going around), my ‘phone was not on silent as it usually is during lessons. Therefore when it chirped in my pocket, 6JF were amused. Then when it chirped again, they started wondering why I was so popular. At this point I hadn’t looked at my ‘phone but thought I’d better check, and it chirped again as I took it out my pocket. I’d just received some mobile Tweets from people I was following on Twitter, a Web site and service that lets users send short text messages from their cellphones to a group of friends. Launched in 2006, Twitter (www.twitter.com) was designed for people to broadcast their current activities and thoughts. Twitter expanded “mobile blogging” (updating a blog from a cellphone) into “microblogging,” the updating of an activities blog (microblog) that distributes the text to a list of names. Messages can also be sent and received via instant messaging, the Twitter Web site or a third-party Twitter application. A MySpace account can also be updated.
Once I’d explained what you did on Twitter, and they’d grasped that the messages I was receiving were being sent to a huge number of people, not just me, (this disappointed them as they thought I had, as one of them put it, ‘a thing going on’ ) they all had a nose at my ‘phone – it’s a good one (they were distinctly unimpressed by the make and model ;-O), but because BGfL had blocked Twitter so I couldn’t show them on the IWB – and came up with some ideas. I relayed their ideas back to Ewan McIntosh via text – again, kids were amused at ineptitude at predictive texting!
One thing I’d forgotten to factor in was the 140 character limit so the middle of the Tweet went astray (didn’t learn my lesson – did it again later!) but the gist was there.
We had a good discussion about social networking, and it did fit rather well into my RE lesson about communities – very serendipitous!
And then, my ‘phone chirped again with a Tweet from Ewan, thanking people for their ideas before another chirp and another message, this time just for them!
That really was the end of the RE lesson then, especially when we received Paul Harrington said ‘Hola’ to us as well!
Not sure if we can get past the firewall at school to use Twitter in the immediate future, but it certainly got one class of kids talking about the use of Twitter and social networking for their Spanish lessons and excited enough to want to find out more when they get home.
And it made their afternoon too that they got a reply – thanks Ewan and Paul (I owe you both a drink!) for proving what Twitter can do – and also that their RE lesson proved to be much more interesting and eventful than usual!